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CRH, the Irish group, supplier for construction materials, announced last week the results of its solid growth in the first quarter of 2024. Historically, this period of the year has been quiet for the company.

A further 3.9% rise was recorded during the weekend trading on the London Stock Exchange, with the shares trading at £66.96 per share. The company’s revenue rose 2% in the March quarter to $6.5 billion. This drove adjusted earnings 15% higher before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

The company stated that sales were boosted in this period due to the projects carried out and the favorable business environment in certain regions of North America, as well as the positive momentum in prices and contributions from acquisitions; These factors compensated for the lower volumes that occurred in Europe.

They also announced a 5% annual increase in their dividends, taking into account that they recently began paying quarterly dividends and included a dividend of 35 cents per share for the period from January to March.

CRH, as well, began buying back its shares six years ago and they have intentions to buy back $300 million by August 7 of this year. The company has already bought back shares worth $600 million so far this year and since this process began, the total of share buybacks is worth $7.6 billion.

According to the company, it is still early in the construction season to give a final verdict, but they expect a favorable market environment and continued positive price momentum for the remainder of 2024. Likewise, they expect significant infrastructure activity in the markets where they participate in which they will benefit in North America and they estimate as well greater investment in important non-residential segments. Meanwhile, in Europe, they expect good underlying demand in infrastructure and key non-residential markets.

On the other hand, the prediction for residential construction in the short term is that it will remain moderate in all its markets.

According to Albert Manifold, CEO of CRH, this quarter was a very good start, with a very good performance, taking into account, that this period has been seasonally less significant for its business. He added that the company is confident that the strength of its balance sheet, together with its persistent focus on efficient capital allocation, will allow them to capitalize on the identified opportunities for greater growth and to create value in 2024 and in a continuous way over time.

The circumstances are very positive according to analyst Adam Vettese of eToro, who mentioned that “the fact that construction materials cost more than before and that those costs are here to stay could have represented a reason for concern for CRH investors, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case with revenue rising in what is typically a slower quarter for the company.”

He also mentioned that the increase in share buybacks and dividends will contribute even more so that investors feel comfortable with the almost 20% increase that the shares have had this year, and that they are also looking forward to new stable results for the future.

CRH is a leading company in providing construction materials solutions that seek to build, connect and improve the world. Currently, they have 78,500 employees in 3,390 operating locations in 29 countries around the world. CRH holds leading market positions in both North America and Europe.


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